Bhadant Anand Kauslyayan :Centenary Tribute

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 Bhadant Anand Kauslayayan was one of the three great activist Budhist scholars of the century .The other two being Dr. Ambedkar and a great Hindi writer Rahul Sankartyayan.Rahul in fact became Marxist later after having a long stint as a Budhist monk.Bhadant Anand Kauslayayan had long and close association with these two scholars .He also had association with Mahatma Gandhi and martyr Bhagat Singh, apart from being associated with freedom struggle in general. Bhadant was a prolific writer and he had more than fifty books to his credit, mosty relating to Buddhism . He had forty books in Hindi,few in English and he translated Dr. Ambedkar’s book on Buddhism in his mother tongue Punjabi.
Bhadant was born and brought up in Punjab, before moving on to various parts of the country and abroad as Buddhist monk.He finally settled down at Nagpur and for long years he lived at Diksha Bhumi, where Dr. Ambedkar adopted Buddhism in 1956,few months before his death .He planted a tree from Sri Lanka at Diksha Bhumi in seventies ,which has grown into a fully developed shadowy tree now. Bhadant had such charming personality and integrity that a Parsee family in Nagpur donated his eight and half acre land on Nagpur -Howrah highway near Kamti to Bhadant for establishing Buddhist centre.Bhadant spent last years of his life there and now a memorial is under construction at that place .
 Very few people in this region are aware of the significance of this internationally renowned Buddhist scholar .Bhadant was born in Sohana village ,adjacent to Mohali,,few miles from Chandigarh .His childhood name was Harinam Das ,who was born on 5th January 1905.His father Lala Ram Sharan Dass was a school teacher at Ambala in those days.Child Harinam spent his early days in Ambala Cantt along with his younger brother Haridas.Harinam Das’s parents died in early age and they lived with their maternal uncle .
After passing matriculation in 1920,Harinam Das joined Mohindra College at Patiala,but under the influence of freedom movement and Bhai Parmanand in whose Ashram he lived for sometime, he joined National College Lahore, established by Lala Lajpat Rai.In National College ,he came in contact with revolutionaries like Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev,etc.Bhadant graduated in 1924 at the age of nineteen years .In Lahore , he happened to listen Ramodhar Sadhu(earlier name of Rahul Sankartyayan)at.Arya Samaj temple.Later Harinam Das became active in Congress party and started working in Dalit mohallas to educate them. He started writing in Urdu papers of Lahore of those days.
In the meantime Rahul Sankartyayan had gone to Sri Lanka and became a Buddhist scholar.He invited Harinam Das to Sri Lanka and after reaching there in 1928, he got initiated into Buddhism .Harinam Das got new name as Anand Kauslyayan,Bhadant was added as honorific prefix as in Buddhist tradition .So Harinam Das became Bhadant Anand Kauslyayan .From Sri Lanka ,Bhadant went to England ,where he spent two years .Rahul was also in London .During his England stay ,Bhadant also visited Germany and France .In 1934,Bhadant went to Malaysia and for two years he stayed at Sarnath near Varanasi.
 Bhadant had now became an established Hindi writer .Hindi Sahitya Sammelan ,Allahabad published his books –Jatak and Dhammped etc. Later in Mahatma Gandhi Ashram at Wardha in Maharashtra, Bhadant became general secretary of Rashtarbhasha Prachar Samiti and stayed there for ten years .In this period he took long travels to propagate Hindustani language as propounded by Mahatma Gandhi as lingua franca of the country.
 In 1952,Bhadant moved to Kalingpong .this very year he went to Japan to attend World Buddhist Conference.He visited Thailand ,Indonesia ,Kampuchia and Singapore .and later Burma.After 35 years of leaving his birthplace ,Bhadant visited his younger brother Haridas who was posted in Budhlada mandi near Bhatinda.He visited Faridkot,Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur,Patiala and Ambala.where he saw his childhood home.Bhadant came into contact with Dr.Ambedkar in 1950 and remained in close association with him till his death in 1956.In 1957,he went to Sri Lanka, when Prime Minister Nehru was also on a state visit there .In 1959 ,Vidyalankar University in Sri Lanka was inaugurated by Indian President Dr.Rajendar Prasad .Bhadant was invited to stay in Vice Chancellor residence of that University,where he spent next many years as Head of Hindi Deptt. After his return from Sri Lanka, he shifted to Nagpur ,where he breathed his last on 22nd June1988 at the age of 83.He was living in Baudhbhoomi,training centre for Buddhists. Dalai Lama visited Bauddhhoomi in 1985, at Bhadant,s 80th birthday.
Bhadant Anand was conferred with honorary Doctrat degrees by Hindi Sahitya Sammelan Allahabad and Nalanda Mahavihar.While functions are being held in Maharastra (Nagpur and Wardha) in his centenary year, which is being celebrated nationally ,state of his birthplace and childhood-Punjab and Haryana are yet to awake to recognize the greatness of their son.In fact there is no trace of any sign in Sohana (Punjab)or Ambala (Haryana)to acknowledge that this great son of India was born and brought up at these places.However in Bauddhbhoomi (Nagpur) a grand memorial is coming up.

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* The writer is Professor in Hindi Translation at Jawaharlal Nehru University.New Delhi.

 

Spring Thunder: Naxalbari—42 years after

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  It was 25th May 1967.Fierce clash took place between West Bengal police and Naxalbari poor people. Chief Minister in United Front ministry was Ajay Mukhrjee and home minister Jyoti Basu. The revolt was led by none else than CPM Darjeeling area committee, led by Charu Majumdar. But the heroes of organizing poor of the area were Kanu Sanyal and Jungal Santhal, as described by Charu Majumdar himself on 22nd April 1969, while addressing massive Calcutta public rally. Announcement of formation of Communist Party of India (Marxist Leninist) was made in this perhaps only public rally addressed by Charu Majumdar. Beijing Radio in May 1967, hailed the revolt in Naxalbari as ‘Spring Thunder’ in India. China thought India will make revolution in next few years, as Charu Majumdar also thought. But how Naxalbari or exactly spelled as ‘Naksalbari’ looks after 42 years of the ‘Spring Thunder’?
  There was curiosity to visit the place which evoked world wide attention and the word itself with changed spellings became part of the dictionaries. Today Naksalbari does not look that far away. It is just 10-12 miles drive from Bagdogra airport with good road connectivity. Small town of about 30 thousand population is close to Nepal border town of Panitanki. No incident actually took place in Naksalbari on 25th May. The firing on rural poor took place in Prasad Jot, a small village further towards Panitanki. There were clashes and tensions in the area since March and Police fired upon poor people, who were unarmed. Fact that this firing killed eight women, two kids of about six months each in these killed women’s laps and one young man. No memorial was built in the memory of these poor people for many years, however few years ago, Mahadeb Mukhrejee faction of Naxalites built Charu Majumdar Sarani or India’s Tienmein square at Bengai Jot village, adjoining Govt. Primary School of the village. A small plot of land was occupied by the group and statues of Lenin, Stalin, Mao Tse Tung and Charu Majumdar( No Marx or Engles) were installed. Two more pillars stand there in the name of Saroj Dutt and Mahadeb Mukhrjee, but without busts. In this area a pillar has been put up in Bengali language, listing the names of eleven martyrs of 25th May 1967 police firing in Prasad Jot. All other statues have English and Bengali both versions on them, but only the martyr’s memorial statue has names in Bengali. Translated as ‘Our Brave Martyrs’, the names include—Comrade Dhaneshwari Sek, Simashwari Mallik,Nayanshwari Mallik, Surubasa Bayani, Sonamati Singh, Shayamati singh, Shyamsari Saibani, Parijau Saibani and the only young boy Shar Singh Mallik. The two kids have been mentioned as ‘and two kids’. Incidentally Pawan Singh son of Dhaneshwari Sek is now CPI(ML-Sangrami Morcha) activist of the area and his son in law Ratan Dey is leader of this Charuite group either at national or regional level. It is difficult to know the reach of different Naxalite groups these days. Pawan Singh told one interesting thing that they would not allow the bust of Mahadeb Mukhrjee on the pillar erected in his memory, but approved to put the bust of Saroj Dutt at bare pillar. Having a little talk with Pawan Singh and school teachers and cliquing some photographs, I moved to Hatigashi village, from where Jungal santhal came and Kanu Sanyal lives these days, having his group’s office there. I crossed Naksalbari town, could not locate a single flag or office of any ML group, however the office and flag of CPM and flags of Congress and BJP were flowing, election being held few days before. Town looked to be quite clean, both Central and state Govts. seems to have paid special attention for development work. There was famous Nandlal Bengali High school, Naxalbari Hindi High school also came up few years ago, and now a Govt. degree college is being built. There are three mosques also in town with reasonable Muslim population. Some Hindu fundamentalist demolished a part of Idgah during 1992 Babri demolition frenzy, but state Govt. built the idgah and communal violence was not allowed to be erupted. The area is full of tea gardens and greenery. Everybody knows Kanu sanyal in Hatigashi village and per chance we met his grand daughter while searching his house, at the fag end of village. The office in kutcha hut of Kanu sanyal is adjoining the hut of Jungal santhal’s widow. I could meet her; she is old and can’t communicate. However her daughter’s two daughters were there, who are studying in convent school in Siliguri. Both their mother and father are working hard to get good education for their daughters. Kanu sanyal, now 81 and sick, narrated the tragic end of Jungal santhal,the Naxal hero’s life. After coming out of jail in 1979 or so, two years prior to the release of Kanu himself, he became addict to drinking. By the time kanu sanyal came out, he was not able to disciple his drinking habits and he was hospitalized in Siliguri, from where he took discharge despite doctors warning that he could die. He came to village and drank himself to death, perhaps that very night. I was told that one of his wives died one we met and another lived in another corner of village. Jungal Santhal had contested 1967 elections on CPM ticket but was defeated.
  Charu Majumdar lived in Siliguri,he came from rich background, his father Gajender Narayan Majumdar was big land holder. Many of the shopping areas in siliguri belonged to him, he himself was kind hearted, so kept on distributing land to needy. Charu was also indifferent to his ancestral land holding, he gave it to poor people. His wife could build a house in her own name from her own savings, which survives now; the remaining property was confiscated by government. Charu was praised by a completely non political business man from Haryana, for whom Charu’s doors were always open. He was the one, who perhaps translated charu’s articles in the beginning. But he was not allowed by his parents to join Charu’s funeral, because of police terror. Charu Majumdar’s family still lives in their Siliguri house.All three siblings-one brother and two sisters together. Charu’s son, a lecturer in English at a Siliguri college is now with CPI(ML-Liberation) group. His two daughters Anita and Madhumita Majumdar are perhaps in medical profession, trying to serve the poor, rather than making money.
  Forty two year later, Naxalite movement has gone through many phases, and as in Mohan Rao’s words, perhaps the earliest chronologist of the movement, and the first to be denied admission to JNU in 1975 emergency despite being selected in SIS, has gone through ‘Split within Split’. Revolution perhaps has succeeded more in Nepal and Venezuela like countries, but India is yet on waiting list. Whether or when it will catch the train, is uncertain.

  
   

  

Issues and Facts about NCERT Books

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  A lot of heat was generated in Rajya Sabha on the issue of allegedly objectionable material in NCERT Hindi and History books, being taught to students. MP’s cutting across party lines went on to the extent of seeking punishment to the scholars responsible for recommending this material. It is very interesting that BJP , who had been after the head of left wing historians, since more than a quarter century, wittingly or unwittingly, got the support from the left itself. That too, just a week or so after, they had been seeking the head of Speaker of Lok Sabha, not because of any genuine reason, but only for being a left nominee to the post.
  Is there any solid logic behind the den being raised by BJP MP Ravi Shankar Prasad, who was supported by MP’s from Congress, SP,CPM and RSP? What are the facts of the case? There are multiple issues involved in this debate, if conducted seriously. First of all, the competence question. Who can give more sound and solid opinion on issues relating to education and pedagogy? MP’s are no doubt elected by the people(Though not in Rajya Sabha) and they have a right to make laws and question Govt. policies in any area of governance. My humble question here is just this—Even if one has certain rights granted under constitution, are these rights to be exercised in an enlightened and knowledgeable manner or just as per one’s political agenda and convenience? Do all our MP’s have knowledge about each and everything of India, about which they are supposed to speak in Parliament? And do they speak about each and everything about which they should have been speaking in Parliament? Facts do not support either of the contention. Not to talk of our MP’s, none in the world, be it Amartya Sen or George Bush, can claim to have knowledge of each and everything about the world? Amartya Sen like people have the humility to acknowledge this obvious fact, whereas George Bush like people destroy the world by their cooked up ‘knowledge’, be in Iraq or in West Asia. If cooked up knowledge is too dangerous for the world, ‘half-baked’ information is equally disastrous. Unfortunately, the whole controversy about NCERT books, not only this time, from the very beginning, is based upon half baked informations, often quoted out of context, resulting in social tensions. This is particularly true of History books, authored by Bipan Chandra or Satish Chandra. The comments about Guru Gobind Singh, Guru Teg Bahadur or Jats etc. or calling Tilak ,Pal or Aurbindo as terrorists, which are always ascribed to the authors of these books, are never their comments. Bipan Chandra and Satish Chandra like eminent nationalist historians can never distort history like that. They have discussed the comments made by either colonial historians or communal historians and contradicted and condemned these unfounded comments about our great national heroes with facts and reason. It has again been repeated in Rajya Sabha that Tilak, Aurbindo, Bipan Chander Pal ,Lala Lajpat Rai like nationalist figures have been characterized as terrorists in NCERT history book written by Bipan Chandra. This is factually wrong. In text book ‘Modern India’ for class xii,edition 1994,in a chapter Nationalist Movement(1905-18),Bipan Chandra has written-‘The most outstanding leaders of militant nationalism apart from Lokmanya Tilak, were Bipin Chandra Pal,Aurbindo Ghosh, and Lala Lajpat Rai.The distinctive political aspects of the programme of the militant nationalist were as follows.
  They believed that Indians themselves must work out their own salvation and make the effort to rise from their degraded position. They declared that great sacrifices and sufferings were needed for this task. Their speeches, writings and political work were full of boldness and self-confidence and they considered no personal sacrifice too great for the good of their country.
  Xxx They had deep faith in the strength of the masses and they planned to achieve swaraj through mass action. They ,therefore, pressed for political work among masses and for direct political action by the masses.”(Pages 192-3)
  Nowhere Bipan Chandra used the word terrorist for these nationalist figures, which has been ascribed to him, whether intentionally or by lack of correct information. Since in BJP like parties, reason has no place, so the distortions are rather made at their end to whip up communal passions.
  Does BJP knows that first lesson in nationalism to Indians was taught by Karl Marx himself, while writing about 1857, as war of independence, full fifty years before Veer Savarkar wrote it as first war of Independence and has BJP , an iota of respect for Karl Marx for this historical interpretation of 1857, which is called Ghadar by British colonial historians?
  So much for the history books, let us now turn Hindi books for facts.
  Four or five objections have been raised about Hindi books by NCERT ,prescribed for class XI.One is about the use of unconstitutional words in the stories or poems of prescribed writers. One such word is ‘Bhangi’ used by Prem Chand in his story’Doodh ka Daam’Another such example has been quoted from an eminent Dalit writer Om Prakash Valmiki’s story.Another objection is that why M.F. Hussain’s biographical chapter has been included in the book. Not that something is objectionable in the chapter, but the very name of M.F. Hussain is like red rag to the bull for some sections, though he might be an artist of international recognition. Foreign Universities, colleges or schools might discuss his works, we will not allow his name to be known to our students, this is the approach. One more objection is to the use of certain words in the Sahitya Akademi award winner poet Dhumil’s poem ‘Mochi Ram’ .Yet another objection is to the introduction of Paash, an eminent Panjabi poet, because he is a “Naxalite. ’Even the writer respected by Mahatma Gandhi, Pandey Bechan Sharma Ugar is not spared by this virulent and totally irrational attack.
  Earlier also a novel Rangbhoomi by Prem Chand was burnt by Bhartiya Dalit Sahitya Akademi and forced to be withdrawn from course of NCERT, because it has word ‘Chamar’ in the text.
  One wonders sometimes the laws made by our law-makers. The spirit behind ban on such word is that in social interaction sometimes, lower classes are subjected to insults and humiliating behavior by upper and powerful classes by using these wo, in this context a ban on use of such words is justified. But in census, in collecting social data, in sociological studies, in creative literature, how can the use of these words be subjected to a blanket ban ?In legal terms also, in matters of reservations, how the castes would not be counted, written and put on record for granting the benefits of reservation or in such contexts. These words would be found in the works of Tagore, Prem Chand or other great writers. Would these writers be subjected to scrutiny, in other words censorship, to remove these words from their texts? Our law makers should ponder over these larger issues.
  Paash is one of the major Panjabi poets, whose works are part of syllabuses of all Universities, colleges, teaching Panjabi literature, it is part of UPSC syllabus as well. Paash’s works have been translated into major lndian languages Bengali,Gujrati,Marathi, Telugu, Malyalm , Hindi etc. UGC , in its model course designed during NDA rule has recommended teaching Paash as one major Indian poet. His poetry has been compared to poetry of poets like Neruda. And Paash was murdered at the hands of Khalistani terrorists for confronting them directly through his poetry. A library, in the memory of slain policemen of Haryana, at the hands of Khalistanis, has been named as Paash library, established by Police deptt. itself.Yet our BJP MP can see only a ‘Naxalite’ in him!Paash in one of his poems have referred to’ the critics with red turbans’, had he listened to the interpretation of his poetry in Rajya Sabha, what term he would have coined for such literary critics. Perhaps poets alive will surely find a suitable term for such critics, provided they are not too scared to be jailed for contempt of Parliament! Sahitya Akademi award winner Hindi poet Dhumil already has a word coined for such critics , in one of his other poems, which I myself am too scared to quote here.
  The issues in the field of education should be subjected to enlightened debates, based on facts and texts discussed in their proper context. Any out of context quotation from the text books and a narrow and sectarian approach, will harm our younger generations only, which needs to be given most liberal and advanced education. In the words of Jawaharlal Nehru, our youth need scientific temper. True, perhaps our Parliamentarians need it even more!
 

The Question Of Language :On Hindi Day

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  A debate is going on about the invincibility of English as official language of the country, whereas Hindi was declared national link language and official language of the country on 14th September,1949 and the day was also declared as Hindi Day. From the day Republic was proclaimed,i.e.26th January,1950,Hindi and English were to continue as co-official languages till 26th January 1965, after which , Hindi was to become sole official language of the country. However, due to various factors, English continued co-official language of the country after 1965 as well, getting extension for every ten years from Parliament. Now no one even puts a question about it, whether there would be a time, when Hindi would be the sole official language of the nation. In the context of globalization and the increasing hegemony of English now in our social and administrative life, it seems to be almost impossible . It is as if ,Hindi has lost its cause for ever.
  Ironically, a debate has taken place on language issue during freedom struggle also. In thirties, ’The People’, a weekly established by Lala Lajpat Rai from Lahore, ‘Modern Review’ ,edited by Ramanand Chatterjee from Kolkata, ‘Chand’, Hindi monthly from Allahabad, ‘Indian Social Reformer’,edited by K. Natrajan from Madras and so many other nationalist papers had participated in this debate . While ‘The People’ and ‘Chand’ had taken Mahatma Gandhi’s position to promote a mixed kind of Hindi or Hindostani as national link language of the country, Ramanand Chatterjee had pleaded for Hindi and English, both to be maintained as national link languages, K. Natrajan had opposed Hindi in whatever form as link language. Interestingly at that time , Tamil nationalist leaders like C. Rajgopalacharya and Periyar had supported Gandhi’s views and helped Dakshin Bharat Hindi Prachar Sabha in its efforts to promote and popularize Hindi in south India.
  One should be clear about some basic facts about the concept of language itself. Language is in minimal and maximal form, is a means of human communication and with as much rationality, this is used, as much positive result it provides in bettering human communication. No one language in world is either backward of forward linguistically in strict sense. Some languages do have more rich literature, more rich vocabulary for covering the maximum areas of human communication. English, as language is richer on this count that it has developed common sense use , as well as academic use vocabulary in this regard. But that does not mean that other languages in world does not have either rich literature or rich vocabulary of various areas of human communication. Russian or even French, German and Spanish are perhaps richer than English in having rich creative literature. Apart from these languages, Japanese or Chinese etc. are no less richer in any area of human communication, including most advanced academic areas of science, medicine or engineering etc.
  Colonialism has certainly affected the question of language in all the countries of Asia, Africa or other countries, where it had ruled for decades. The language of colonial masters, be it English, French, Portuguese, Spanish or Dutch was used in these countries, overriding the native languages, which were given a derogatory term of vernacular language by colonial masters. This affected the growth of these national languages of colonized countries, despite the fact that they had all the competence of expression and communication in any area of human communication, be it common day to day conduct or specialized forms, such as administration, advanced knowledge of any area or even creative literature. Can one say that Tamil or Bengali was in any manner less advanced , having rich tradition of classical and modern literature, than English? British colonial masters, for their own convenience, kept these languages away from vital areas of communication, such as administration, judiciary, medium of instruction at College or University level.
  It is an irony that despite the development of Indian languages, as one of the major tasks of freedom struggle and post independence India, the language question still disturb Indian society. In pre Independence time, even in Tamilnadu, C.Rajgopalacharya, Periyar like national leaders joined Mahatma Gandhi for propagating Hindi as link language for inter state people’s communication, for no other reason than that it was spoken by the largest population of this multi-linguistic, multi-cultural nation and one Indian language was necessary as link between all the different language speakers of this vast country. This is as much necessary even today, perhaps even more necessary than yesterday. Reason being , in the age of the whole country expanding as single market, people need one or two languages as link communication between twenty plus Indian languages. My experience in my recent visit to Tamilnadu made me feel the need of it more acutely. In all other parts of the country, even in North-East, one is able to communicate with local people in broken or mixed Hindi, and of course, English has no use at that level, when you have to communicate with a rickshaw puller or a vegetable seller or a petty shopkeeper or talk to a petty official in an office. In Tamilnadu, I could not communicate with people at this level, there were difficulties in this communication , as there is no Tamilia Hindi like Mumbaiya or Hyderabadi or Kokatia Hindi. Other difficulty in Chennai like city was at all the important places, such as statues put on Marina Beach of Tamil heroes, except for one or two statues, no information was put in either English or Hindi for non-Tamil people. Even in a recent advertisement in ‘ the Hindu’, a half page ad. was published by Tamilnadu govt., only in Tamil. An English knowing non Tamilian reader is as much keen to know about the contents of this ad., as a Tamil knowing reader is.
  In my view all Indian languages, which should include Indian English as well, as developed a distinct identity, despite its colonial legacy, should be treated at equal footing in all matters. However, following the sound principles of education, mother tongue should be the medium of instructions in school, through which a child learns much faster than any alien language, even if it is a sister Indian language. All Indian languages, be it Tamil, Hindi, Bengali or any else should be developed to the level of pertaining education in all subjects-from humanities to science, up to highest level i.e. research.
  Time has perhaps come to review the three language formula, adopted by Govt. of India, at the time of independence. I think students should be taught three languages i.e.-mother tongue, Hindi and English at various stages of school education. This should be rather strictly implemented. Hindi and in the new circumstances developed after the advent of so-called globalization, English , have both become link languages of the nation. Though Hindi continues to be the more effective link language at the level of more than 80% population , but by now English knowing and even speaking middle class has also grown substantially and this group of people ,though smaller in number, is holding real administrative and political power.
  It will create some problem in Hindi speaking ten states and some union territories, as they will be teaching only Hindi, as mother tongue and English. In three language formula, these states were supposed to teach one Indian language extra, such as any language of the south-Tamil, Telugu, Kannada or Malayalam, or some eastern or western language like Bengali or Marathi. Formally some states did declare some of these languages as second language of the state , to be taught in schools. Haryana , at one stage has declared Telugu as its second language. Yet practically this scheme has failed in Hindi speaking states. Demands rose about neighboring languages to be declared as second language, such as Punjabi in Delhi, Himachal and Haryana and Urdu as second language in U.P. and Bihar. Many Hindi speaking states lost to southern states at the level of recruitments in higher posts like IAS etc. , because they neglected teaching of English, in which southern, eastern and western states performed better at competition level.
  Over zealots of Hindi movement in sixties in Hindi speaking states created such fear psychosis in southern states, that even the friends of Hindi earlier such as C. Rajgopalacharya became its foes. The reaction in Tamilnadu was particularly strong , where the compulsory teaching of Hindi in schools was made optional, though in other three southern states-Kerala, Andhra and Karnataka, such hostile reaction did not come. That is why, Hindi can be used much easily for communication in these states, but not with that ease in Tamilnadu. By now, the situation has changed, many Hindi zealots have themselves converted into votaries of English, forgetting their earlier hostile actions for creating a mess on a sensitive issue like language, which can only be promoted with love and reason and not by force. Perhaps time has come for Tamilnadu also to bury the past and start treating Hindi as a sister language , necessary for wider communication, to treat it as link language only, by no means better or more powerful than Tamil.
  In a lighter vain I thought in Chennai, that Tamilnadu, at this moment needs ‘Hindi and Helmet”, because despite Supreme Court orders, hardly any motorcyclist wears helmet in Chennai and Tamilnadu, though driving as fast as in Delhi, creating somewhat fear psychosis among peddlers and also putting the driver himself on risk. Is it asking too much ?  

BJP attack on Punjabi Poet Paash

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  BJP attack on Punjabi Poet Paash

  New Delhi
  Punjabi Poet Paash,who gave away his life like his ideal Bhagat Singh by confronting Khalistani terrorists, was subjected to most insulting treatment by BJP MP Ravi Shankar Prasad in Rajya Sabha debate recently on NCERT books.Paash’s poem ‘Sabse Khatarnak’ has been prescribed in Hindi book for class XI by NCERT from current session.This is part of 20% literature in translation from other languages.Paash did Punjabi language pride, when his poem was selected for all India syllabus of NCERT.It might be reminded here that Hindi translation of Paash’s poetry by Dr. Chaman Lal was given Sahitya Akademi national prize for translation.
  BJP MP told Rajya Sabha that Paash was a Naxalite and how NCERT could teach a poem by a Naxalite. He also attacked writings of Dalit writer Om Prakash Balmiki, Sahitya Akademi award winner poet Dhumil and other major Hindi writers for being taught to students. He was also angry at internationally renowned artist MF Hussain’s biographical chapter being taught in Hindi text book.
  Many eminent writers of Hindi have expressed dismay at such attacks on creative writings of such eminent writers.The writers include Naamvar Singh, Chancellor, Mahatma Gandhi international Hindi University, Ashok Vajpayee,former Vice Chancellor Mahatma Gandhi international Hindi University, Krishna Sobti,Rajender Yaadav,Kamleshwar,Kunwar Narain, Kamla Prasad&Chaman Lal.

BJP attack on Punjabi Poet Paash

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  BJP attack on Punjabi Poet Paash

  New Delhi
  Punjabi Poet Paash,who gave away his life like his ideal Bhagat Singh by confronting Khalistani terrorists, was subjected to most insulting treatment by BJP MP Ravi Shankar Prasad in Rajya Sabha debate recently on NCERT books.Paash’s poem ‘Sabse Khatarnak’ has been prescribed in Hindi book for class XI by NCERT from current session.This is part of 20% literature in translation from other languages.Paash did Punjabi language pride, when his poem was selected for all India syllabus of NCERT.It might be reminded here that Hindi translation of Paash’s poetry by Dr. Chaman Lal was given Sahitya Akademi national prize for translation.
  BJP MP told Rajya Sabha that Paash was a Naxalite and how NCERT could teach a poem by a Naxalite. He also attacked writings of Dalit writer Om Prakash Balmiki, Sahitya Akademi award winner poet Dhumil and other major Hindi writers for being taught to students. He was also angry at internationally renowned artist MF Hussain’s biographical chapter being taught in Hindi text book.
  Many eminent writers of Hindi have expressed dismay at such attacks on creative writings of such eminent writers.The writers include Naamvar Singh, Chancellor, Mahatma Gandhi international Hindi University, Ashok Vajpayee,former Vice Chancellor Mahatma Gandhi international Hindi University, Krishna Sobti,Rajender Yaadav,Kamleshwar,Kunwar Narain, Kamla Prasad&Chaman Lal.

Acceptance Speech on the occasion of Sahitya Akademi Translation Prize

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Acceptance Speech on the occasion of Sahitya Akademi Translation Prize and Bhasha Samman Special Fooction (19.8.02)



While gratefully and gracefully accepting Sahitya Akademi Translation Prize for year 2001 on the book’ Samay 0 Bahi Samay’, I shall like to share with you that why I chose to translate Paash’s poetry in Hindi and how I completed this task. As you know ‘Samay O’ Bhai Samay’ is Hindi translation of Paash’s selected poetry. By the narration of this experience, my perception about the significance of translation and the problems of translation activity shall also come to the fore.

By way of background, I shall like to share with you that my earliest translation activity started in early seventies. It was sometimes in 1967 end or 1968 that I started translating Manmath Nath Gupt’s Hindi book’ Bharat Ke Krantikari ‘ in my mother tongue Pwljabi. This book was published by Hind Pocket Books in popular paperback edition and it contained sketches of eighteen revolutionary martyrs of freedom movement, which included martyrs Bhagat Singh and Chandarshekhar Azad and like. I used to read lot of

creative literature as well as books on freedom movement,

particularly on revolutionaries of the country in Hindi and Panjabi languages. I was teaching Hindi in a High School at that time and had good Command over both Hindi and Panjabi languages. This

first translation activity I performed , had an emotional impulse of

paying tribute to the great revolutionary martyrs of the country in my own way. By translating these sketches in Punjabi, I wished that people of my state and surroundings should know about these martyrs. Technically, these translations were like first exercise in translation, but all these translated articles were published in very reputed Panjabi journals like’ Aarsee’, ‘Preetlari’ and in the periodical of ‘ Desh Bhagat Yaadgar Committee’ – ‘ Desh Bhagat ‘Yaadan’ (Memories of Patriots) . Unfortunately, today neither I have got the copy of that book in Hindi, nor the complete file of those translated articles in Punjabi’, of course, a few of those are still with me.



t’



, ,~



So the first thing in my own activity in translation and which is part of my perception of translation or any writing is the purpose fullness. I do translation or any other writing with a certain purpose,

to elaborate it further- monetary gain has never been my purpose of

translation or other writings, though I will not deny that I have occasionally gained some money from my translations. To get fame has also not been very strong impulse for my translation activity or other writing. The most strong impulse behind my translations or other writings has been to present to readers of a particular language, a literature of my choice and if that literature is liked and appreciated by the readers of that particular language, that becomes my greatest satisfaction in performing this task.

Though I have done lot of critical writing in Hindi, Punjabi and English about Indian and world literature, yet I know that few books of mine, which have got recognition and popularity also, are related to translation and editing. My co-edited book based on documents of Shahed Bhagat Singh has been tremendously popular in Hindi for the last 16 or 17 years. Same way my translation of Paash’s poetry in Hindi is equally popular in Hindi speaking states of the country,

which is spread in many books now.

But I was to share with you that why and how I came to translate Paash , the end result of which has brought me here in your esteemed company. On 23rd March 1988, I was in Rohtak, in connection with a seminar in memory of Shaheed Bhagat Singh. On 24th March morning, when I was to get back to Patiala, I saw the morning newspaper, which had the front page news of Paash’s killing at the hands of Khalistani terrorists at his native village Talwandi Salem. Ironically, Paash was a fond follower and admirer of Bhagat Singh and it was on his martyrdom day, that, he also laid down his life at the young age of 38 years. Like Bhagat Singh, he also died for the ideas and cause dear to his heart. Paash personally also was close to me. The news was shocking and saddening both. But It gave me a resolve to tell the terrorists that they may kill the persons, but they can not kill the ideas. Ideas can become even stronger if they are tried to be suppressed by killing people, as happened in the case of

British colonialism’s phony judicial killing of Bhagat Singh in 1931. Within a month of Paash’ s killing, I translated some of his very important poems in Hindi and alongwith an article, sent it to’ PEHL’, the very respected literary journal from Jabalpur, edited by Sh Gian



f

Ranjan. Within few months’ PERL’ came ouRanjan with a special edition on Paash’s poetry and Paash became very popular among Hindi readership. Then I took up to translate the total poetry of Paash in HIndi and on 23.3.89, at first death anniversary of Paash , the first collection of Paash’s poetry in Hind was published and released by Rajkamal Publishers at Delhi and it became instant hit with readers.

There were large number of unpublished poems by Paash. Paash memorial International Trust also took many years to publish complete poetry of Paash, which comes close to two hundred poems in all. Hindi translation of all these poems has now been completed and will be published and released soon.

It is no easy job to translate Paash’s poetry in any other language, even when languages are so close to each other as Hindi and Punjabi . The rural and colloquial colour of Paash’s poetry is very charming, but it is difficult to render in another language. I had made a long list of such words in Paash’s poetry, which I was finding it difficult to render in Hindi. On one hand, I consulted Paash’s father about these words, which had strong cultural background, some related to local folk tales, some related to peasantry and agricultural activity with completely local rural colour. At another level, I discussed my translation of Paash’s poetry with my Hindi poet friends to know the exact local words for same peasantry related

agricultural activity or for some parallel folk tale in Hindi region. That is how; I was able to render the spirit ofPaash’s poetry in Hindi language. Then there was aspect of diction. Paash has written few songs and ghazals as well. The exact metrical rendering of those songs and Ghazals was impossible, so I translated these in meter as

well as in free verse, rendering more in terms of meaning then in terms of meter. Largely Paash’s poetry is in free else, yet one has to

. create the inner rhythm of poem in another language. The range of

Paash’s poetry is quite wide and it has strong ideological connotations as well. So to translate Paash’s poetry, one has not only to be good at both languages; one has to understand and comprehend his ideas and concerns as well. Fortunately we were close to each other at ideological level, so I had the same passion as the poet had to render the ideas very forcefully. Paash’s poetry leaves a powerful impact upon its readers and it was a challenge for any translator, whether his or her translation can create the same impact or not, as the original poem creates. Here I tl1it1k I can claim a great deal of



satisfaction that my translation of Paash has gone so well with Hindi readership, that, many readers think Paash is a original Hindi poet.

And I do not want to be modest in saying that though I had also got another award this very year of a larger amount ( Rupee Fifty Thousand) from Central Hindi Directorate on another. book of mine, yet I feel much happy and satisfied in receiving Sahtiya Akademi Translation Prize, because it is a recognition of not only my translation exercise, but more than that, it is recognition of Paash’s poetry at national level. For me the translation of Paash’s poetry has

been a lob our of love and Sahitya Akademi Award for this labour of love is like love begetting love and luckiest is the man or woman on this earth, whose love begets love. So with all humility. I accept Sahitya Akademi’s love for Paash’s poetry.

Thanks once again.

Chaman Lal

Punjabis in Mauritius

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Punjabis in Mauritius

  There is a popular joke about Punjabis that one would find ‘Sher-e Punjab’ dhabha in remotest part of the world. Even Tenzing found it on top of the Everest. Joke apart, Punjabis have traveled to the far off corners of the world. They have gone to African countries also in large numbers, but not so much in case of Mauritius. Mauritius, which is otherwise Indian background people dominated country of West Africa, does not claim to be overwhelmed by Punjabis. Yet, whatever little number of Punjabis reached this small but beautiful country of about 12 million people at present, have made an impact, though little is known about it. Mauritius of today has just seven cities, some towns and hundred odd villages, but is absolutely clean and it beaches are most beautiful in the world.
  Formed as an island many centuries ago, out of a volcanic eruption in ocean in West Africa, it remained unnoticed till about 1500 A.D., when some Arab merchants noticed it, but did not stay there. It was then discovered by a Portuguese Domingo Fernandez and named it ‘Cerne’ in 1500. But nobody stayed here till Dutch colonialists decided to take it and they captured it in 1598 and named it Mauritius in the name of one of their Prince Maurice. Even Dutch took long time to have a Governor here and they stayed here up to 1710.In 1686, during Dutch rule there were just 269 persons inhabiting this island, which included 12 Indians among them. Dutch brought slaves from nearby Madagascar, Mozambique etc. and some slaves even in those days came from India as well. There is reference to Goan slaves in Mauritius. According to Dr. Vijya Teelock, noted Mauritian historian one Bengali woman slave Anna had took part in slave revolt against Dutch colonialists in seventeenth century. French Colonialists took over Mauritius in 1715 and ruled here till 1810, when they ceded this colony to British colonialists, who ruled till 1868. Strangely, French rule of 95 years has surpassed British rule of 158 years of Mauritius in terms of cultural and economic hegemony. Under the agreement in 1810, when French surrendered Mauritius to Britain, French interests were not to be touched. So the sugar industry, the only industry of the island remained in French hands along with hegemony of French language. Today the official language of the nation is English, yet all the official communiqués are published in French for public. There is no English daily; only two weeklies are there, one of these is bilingual with French. But there are two French dailies. Mahatama Gandhi visited Mauritius on his way back from South Africa to India in 1904, when his ship was held up in this island for ten days. He stayed with a Muslim family in Moka at that time and was given a civic reception by British Governor. In 1909, Dr. Manilal , a follower of Mahatma Gandhi, started ‘Hindustani’, a Hindi daily from Mauritius, but nowadays there is no Hindi paper or journal of repute published from Mauritius. Over the period Creole has become lingua franca, though it has no script yet, but this is the language evolved for public communication by this multi lingual, multi cultural and multi racial nation. Creole has been evolved from the mixture of French, Bhojpuri and African. 
  Indians have been coming are being brought into Mauritius from the very foundation of the country. Thus during French rule in 1766, Indian population among a total of about two thousand stood at 578. It rose to fifteen thousand out of total 86273 in 1827. In 1761, during slavery, the number of Indian slaves in Mauritius stood at 73 males and 26 females. In 1810, when British troops took over Mauritius from French, they came with 24000 troops including 9000 Indians. In 1833, slavery was abolished by British Parliament and 6000 slaves including many Indians were freed. But they found the need for cheap labour on sugar farms, so Indian migration through indentured labour started in 1835 from India, which continued till 1910. In Folk Museum on Indian indentured labour migration at Mahatma Gandhi institute in Mauritius has records of this migration in 164 registers from 1842 to 1910. About 4.5 lakh Indians came to Mauritius as indentured labour from during this period on hundreds of ships sailed from Calcutta, Madras and Bombay, as these cities were called in those days. Out of these about two and half lakh returned, but more than two lakh made Mauritius their home.Of about 1.25 lakh photographs of indentured labour are also there in these records. Majority of Indians went from Bihar and U.P., but large numbers went from Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. Small numbers went from Bengal, few from Punjab too. There are references of people going from Nabha and Patiala state in these records. Apart from Indians, Africans and Chinese, French made the Mauritius a multi cultural society. These laborers shed their blood and sweat and suffered lots of tortures at the hands of British and French colonial masters to make this country ‘A Heaven without Snakes’ in the words of eminent Hindi writer Yashpal. Today, Indians form more than fifty percent of Mauritian population. There were 450 Arya Samaj Temples, 185 Sanatan Dharm Temples, 130 Tamil Kovils, 121 Mosques, 70 Telugu Andhra Mahasabha Temples, 42 Churches, 12 Pagodas, and Ten Marathi Temples in Mauritus in year 2000. The number of these religious temples must have increased in this period and One Gurdwara which has come into existence during this period was visited by me to take the feel of Punjabi population in Mauritus during my seven weeks lecture tour under scholar exchange programme of UGC. On an earlier occasion during seventies, a Gurdwara was established in the home of a retired army officer in Mombasa area, but that continued only till his officer wife on duty stayed in Mauritius. This new Gurdwara near capital Port Louise has come on the land given by Mauritian Government and it holds weekly congregations on Sunday, sponsored by some Punjabi Sikh or Hindu working in Mauritius. As per information given by officials of Gurdwara committee, there are only 5-6 Mauritian Punjabi families in the country and about 500 to one thousand Punjabis-Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims together might be in Mauritius on short term jobs, some on senior executive positions and some workers. Many from this or that side of Punjab have become Mauritians through marriage to Mauritian spouse. I met a young Muslim Punjabi from Lahore in a Sunday market in Qatra Bon, who had married a Mauritian girl. Same way the daughter in law of late Vice President of the country Ravinder Gharbharn, Anju Monga Gharbarn came to Mauritius 28 years ago by marrying his son. Son in law of present President of the country Anuruddh Jugannath, Dr. Malhotra is from a village near Ambala, which Dr. Jugannath visited during his last visit to India. However Dr. Malhotra with his wife has established medical practice in England now.
  Most illustrious person from Punjabi background in Mauritius was Kher Jagat Singh, a close associate of freedom fighter and first Prime Minister of the country Dr. Shiva Sagar Ramgoolam. Mauritian Labour Party formed in early thirties, had a constitutional struggle to achieve freedom for the country. Dr. Ramgoolam had close relations with Indian National Congress during his medical student days in London and Mauritius had great impact of Gandhi, Nehru and Tagore on its nation. Kher Jagat Singh was actually Kehar Singh Jagat Singh and was born to a Sikh father Kehar Singh in Amritsar on 23rd July 1931. At the age of three months, he came to Mauritius with his parents. His father was a prison inspector in British service and he married a Mauritian woman. In his book ‘Petals of Dust’, published in 1981, Jagat Singh has depicted one of his visits to his ancestral place Amritsar in sixties, but the present living family of Jagat Singh has no contact with his relatives now. They don’t even know their whereabouts. Jagat Singh became an eminent journalist after completing his education and worked for ‘Times of India’ Delhi for some time. He co-founded ‘The Mauritian Times’, ‘The Nation’, ‘The Mauritian Today’ and daily ‘Advance’. He worked for ‘Slough Observer’ and ‘The Paddington Times’ of London as well. In 1958, he founded Triveni Cultural Centre, which today is an eminent cultural place in Mombasa. Since 1948, he became active in politics and joined Mauritian Labour Party and got elected to pre-independence Mauritian legislature in 1959 and got reelected every time till 1982, when Mauritian Labour Party suffered the worst defeat in elections, even Prime Minister Dr. Ramgoolam loosing his seat. Mauritius gained independence on 12th March 1968 and Dr. Ramgoolam taking over as Prime Minister. Kher Jagat Singh served as Minister of Health, Economic Planning and Development and finally as Minister of Education and Culture. It was during Labour Party rule that Mauritius developed into a social welfare state with free public education, health service and old age pension. Kher Jagat Singh played a major role in shaping these welfare policies of Mauritian Government. His role was particularly appreciated in the field of education and culture. Under his stewardship, free education and school education reached in every nook and corner of the country. Today Mauritius is almost complete literate country, though lagging behind in higher education.
  In 1980, Kher Jagat Singh was knighted by British queen. He remained General Secretary of Mauritian Labour Party from 1961 to 1982. However Mauritian Labour Party suffered worst defeat in 1982 general elections loosing almost all sixty seats of Parliament to opposition. As Dr. Ramgoolam was considered the ‘Father of the Nation’, like Gandhi in India; he was made Governor General in 1982, which he served till his death in 1985 at a ripe age. Kher Jagat Singh, a sensitive soul and a lover of literature and arts also did not live long and he passed away in July 1985 at the relatively young age of 53 years. Jagat Singh is survived by his still active wife Lady Radhika Jagat Singh and four children. His eldest son is named after him and so is his elder daughter named after her mother. Her younger son is named as Kher Sanjay Singh and her youngest daughter, who must be just 3-4 years old at the time of his father’s death, is named Krittica. A dentist by profession, she wished to be named as Krittca ‘Kaur’ as per his grandfather family tradition. I met Lady Jagat Singh and Dr. Krattica twice and was presented with ‘Petals of Dust’ written by Kher Jagat Singh. A bust of Kher Jagat Singh has been installed in Mombasa area, where Kher lived for long time. This bust was inaugurated by present Prime Minister Dr. Navin Chander Ramgoolam son of Dr. Shiva Sagar Ramgoolam in 2008.
  Kher Jagat Singh has such deep attachment to literature and culture that in 1977, when Abhimanyu Anat’s Hindi novel ‘Lal Pasina’(Red Sweat) was released in Delhi and the writer himself could not come, it was Kher Jagat Singh, who represented him and his country on that occasion. This classic novel of Mauritius has now been translated into French, whose introduction has been written by this year’s Noble Laureate of literature-Klazio.
  Though small in numbers, Punjabis did play an important role in making Mauritius beautiful and colorful and in lone Gurudwara, there is always more non Punjabi Mauritian than Punjabis, listening soulful rendering of Gurbani, thus further contributing to multiculturism of the nation.

Acceptance Speech on the occasion of Sahitya Akademi Translation Prize

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Acceptance Speech on the occasion of Sahitya Akademi Translation Prize and Bhasha Samman Special Fooction (19.8.02)



While gratefully and gracefully accepting Sahitya Akademi Translation Prize for year 2001 on the book’ Samay 0 Bahi Samay’, I shall like to share with you that why I chose to translate Paash’s poetry in Hindi and how I completed this task. As you know ‘Samay O’ Bhai Samay’ is Hindi translation of Paash’s selected poetry. By the narration of this experience, my perception about the significance of translation and the problems of translation activity shall also come to the fore.

By way of background, I shall like to share with you that my earliest translation activity started in early seventies. It was sometimes in 1967 end or 1968 that I started translating Manmath Nath Gupt’s Hindi book’ Bharat Ke Krantikari ‘ in my mother tongue Pwljabi. This book was published by Hind Pocket Books in popular paperback edition and it contained sketches of eighteen revolutionary martyrs of freedom movement, which included martyrs Bhagat Singh and Chandarshekhar Azad and like. I used to read lot of

creative literature as well as books on freedom movement,

particularly on revolutionaries of the country in Hindi and Panjabi languages. I was teaching Hindi in a High School at that time and had good Command over both Hindi and Panjabi languages. This

first translation activity I performed , had an emotional impulse of

paying tribute to the great revolutionary martyrs of the country in my own way. By translating these sketches in Punjabi, I wished that people of my state and surroundings should know about these martyrs. Technically, these translations were like first exercise in translation, but all these translated articles were published in very reputed Panjabi journals like’ Aarsee’, ‘Preetlari’ and in the periodical of ‘ Desh Bhagat Yaadgar Committee’ – ‘ Desh Bhagat ‘Yaadan’ (Memories of Patriots) . Unfortunately, today neither I have got the copy of that book in Hindi, nor the complete file of those translated articles in Punjabi’, of course, a few of those are still with me.



t’



, ,~



So the first thing in my own activity in translation and which is part of my perception of translation or any writing is the purpose fullness. I do translation or any other writing with a certain purpose,

to elaborate it further- monetary gain has never been my purpose of

translation or other writings, though I will not deny that I have occasionally gained some money from my translations. To get fame has also not been very strong impulse for my translation activity or other writing. The most strong impulse behind my translations or other writings has been to present to readers of a particular language, a literature of my choice and if that literature is liked and appreciated by the readers of that particular language, that becomes my greatest satisfaction in performing this task.

Though I have done lot of critical writing in Hindi, Punjabi and English about Indian and world literature, yet I know that few books of mine, which have got recognition and popularity also, are related to translation and editing. My co-edited book based on documents of Shahed Bhagat Singh has been tremendously popular in Hindi for the last 16 or 17 years. Same way my translation of Paash’s poetry in Hindi is equally popular in Hindi speaking states of the country,

which is spread in many books now.

But I was to share with you that why and how I came to translate Paash , the end result of which has brought me here in your esteemed company. On 23rd March 1988, I was in Rohtak, in connection with a seminar in memory of Shaheed Bhagat Singh. On 24th March morning, when I was to get back to Patiala, I saw the morning newspaper, which had the front page news of Paash’s killing at the hands of Khalistani terrorists at his native village Talwandi Salem. Ironically, Paash was a fond follower and admirer of Bhagat Singh and it was on his martyrdom day, that, he also laid down his life at the young age of 38 years. Like Bhagat Singh, he also died for the ideas and cause dear to his heart. Paash personally also was close to me. The news was shocking and saddening both. But It gave me a resolve to tell the terrorists that they may kill the persons, but they can not kill the ideas. Ideas can become even stronger if they are tried to be suppressed by killing people, as happened in the case of

British colonialism’s phony judicial killing of Bhagat Singh in 1931. Within a month of Paash’ s killing, I translated some of his very important poems in Hindi and alongwith an article, sent it to’ PEHL’, the very respected literary journal from Jabalpur, edited by Sh Gian



f

Ranjan. Within few months’ PERL’ came ouRanjan with a special edition on Paash’s poetry and Paash became very popular among Hindi readership. Then I took up to translate the total poetry of Paash in HIndi and on 23.3.89, at first death anniversary of Paash , the first collection of Paash’s poetry in Hind was published and released by Rajkamal Publishers at Delhi and it became instant hit with readers.

There were large number of unpublished poems by Paash. Paash memorial International Trust also took many years to publish complete poetry of Paash, which comes close to two hundred poems in all. Hindi translation of all these poems has now been completed and will be published and released soon.

It is no easy job to translate Paash’s poetry in any other language, even when languages are so close to each other as Hindi and Punjabi . The rural and colloquial colour of Paash’s poetry is very charming, but it is difficult to render in another language. I had made a long list of such words in Paash’s poetry, which I was finding it difficult to render in Hindi. On one hand, I consulted Paash’s father about these words, which had strong cultural background, some related to local folk tales, some related to peasantry and agricultural activity with completely local rural colour. At another level, I discussed my translation of Paash’s poetry with my Hindi poet friends to know the exact local words for same peasantry related

agricultural activity or for some parallel folk tale in Hindi region. That is how; I was able to render the spirit ofPaash’s poetry in Hindi language. Then there was aspect of diction. Paash has written few songs and ghazals as well. The exact metrical rendering of those songs and Ghazals was impossible, so I translated these in meter as

well as in free verse, rendering more in terms of meaning then in terms of meter. Largely Paash’s poetry is in free else, yet one has to

. create the inner rhythm of poem in another language. The range of

Paash’s poetry is quite wide and it has strong ideological connotations as well. So to translate Paash’s poetry, one has not only to be good at both languages; one has to understand and comprehend his ideas and concerns as well. Fortunately we were close to each other at ideological level, so I had the same passion as the poet had to render the ideas very forcefully. Paash’s poetry leaves a powerful impact upon its readers and it was a challenge for any translator, whether his or her translation can create the same impact or not, as the original poem creates. Here I tl1it1k I can claim a great deal of



satisfaction that my translation of Paash has gone so well with Hindi readership, that, many readers think Paash is a original Hindi poet.

And I do not want to be modest in saying that though I had also got another award this very year of a larger amount ( Rupee Fifty Thousand) from Central Hindi Directorate on another. book of mine, yet I feel much happy and satisfied in receiving Sahtiya Akademi Translation Prize, because it is a recognition of not only my translation exercise, but more than that, it is recognition of Paash’s poetry at national level. For me the translation of Paash’s poetry has

been a lob our of love and Sahitya Akademi Award for this labour of love is like love begetting love and luckiest is the man or woman on this earth, whose love begets love. So with all humility. I accept Sahitya Akademi’s love for Paash’s poetry.

Thanks once again.

Chaman Lal